Studied at the Leningrad Conservatoire, than – at the Moscow Conservatoire (L. Ginsbourg’s class) graduating with first class honors.
In 1971 he won first prize in the Soviet Union’s national competition for conductors, and the following year went on to win first prize and gold medal in the Karajan Competition in Berlin.
In 1973-87 Alexander Lazarev was Bolshoi Theatre conductor, from 1987 to 1995 he was Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Theatre.
His repertoire is particularly enterprising in its scope, ranging from the eighteenth century to the avant-garde. In 1978 he founded the Ensemble of Soloists of the Bolshoi Theatre whose most important aim was the programming and wide dissemination of contemporary music by both Soviet and foreign composers.
In recent years he has worked as a regular guest with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, appearing with them in London, Paris and Vienna. Other orchestras he has conducted include the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestre National de France, Oslo Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, NHK Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Montreal Symphony and the London Philharmonic, and he has appeared with opera companies such as the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels, Arena di Verona, Paris National Opera, Lyon National Opera and the Bavarian State Opera.
He has been a regular visitor to the UK since his debut in 1987. From 1992-1995 he was Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and from 1997 to 2005 he was Principal Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. His activities with them included complete cycles of the symphonies of Shostakovich and Prokofiev, appearances at the Proms and extensive foreign tours.
Alexander Lazarev has made over 35 recordings for Melodiya and Erato with the Bolshoi Symphony, and has also recorded for Virgin Classics, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra for Sony Classical, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra for Hyperion and BMG, and with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for BIS and Linn Records.
In 2008 he takes up the position of Principal Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra.
The 2009/10 season sees Lazarev take on the position of Conductor in Residence at the Bolshoi Theatre.
© Bolshoi Theatre